Today is #GivingTuesday – a day each year when donating to non-profits is an internet wide focus.
As good as this is for non-profits, and as much as a day dedicated to donations and giving dramatically increases a non-profit’s ability to deliver results to the community they serve, it can be exhausting for a lot of us.
I woke up this morning and already had 24 emails in my inbox with “Giving Tuesday” in the header.
Everywhere we look on social media are pleas to support this non-profit or that non-profit.
* Will Aunt Marcie be pissed if we don’t support her non-profit but do support Nana’s non-profit?
* Will out boss screw with us at work if we don’t donate to his or her fund-raising campaign?
* I’m not made of money, and can’t support everyone.
* How is this non-profit USING my donation? I sometimes feel like I’m putting my money into a black hole.
If you feel these feelings, it is completely natural.
What you are experiencing is called Donor Fatigue. Or, using alliteration, Donation Exasperation. (Yeah, okay, that was weak).
Here’s a solution for Donor Fatigue.
Taking 3 steps have helped me avoid Donor Fatigue:
#1: Plan Ahead.
Throughout the year, you will learn about non-profits whose work you are drawn to.
For me, it’s organizations like the Lila Kate Foundation, Sandy Hook Promise and the National Down Syndrome Society. Scroll down to see my Top 10 non-profits.
They deliver real results on the ground and make a real difference in real lives.
So I keep a list of those organizations, and every #GivingTuesday, I donate to them.
#2: Set Aside
I also set aside money throughout the year – it can be hard to come up with money to donate the week after Thanksgiving and 4 weeks before Christmas.
I don’t know about your family, but we have about 7,563 birthdays in our family November and December. Holiday shopping for gifts. Holiday party and decoration planning/costs.
This is a bad time of year for access to cash.
So throughout the year, pretend you are a squirrel, and stash cash for donating on #GivingTuesday. Here are a five (5) ideas that I personally do or have done:
1. The oldie-but-goodie….the change jar. We have a family change jar, and I think we amass about $175-200 in change between the 5 of us throughout the year.
2. Round up your purchases. Use the little “notes” app on your phone, and whenever you make a purchase, write down how many cents you need to round the amount up to an even dollar amount. At the end of the month, add these amounts up and slide that total into a separate checking account for “donations”.
3. Set aside 1% of your paycheck every 2 weeks into a donation fund. Or more, if you can afford it.
4. Once a month, take something your family no longer uses or needs, and sell it on eBay (or some other site). You’ll be amazed what people pay for, you’ll get rid of clutter, and you used something that no longer gave you value to give value to several other people.
5. If you play the lotto, put all your wins throughout the year below $10 into an envelope, and give it away on #GivingTuesday
I call these actions the “Donor Lifestyle” – building donation and giving into your lifestyle is sowing seeds that will let you reap a big harvest. More on the concept of the “Donor Lifestyle” later.
Once you have your Donation Fund set up, you are ready to start donating.
Decide the absolute most that you can afford to give today, and divide it by 10. Pick 10 non-profits and donate equally to all. Don’t worry about the size of the donation – that doesn’t matter.
We know this from political campaigns.
If Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama can do what they do by raising massive amounts of money on an average donation of $27, imagine what you and I can do with a lot of small donations to non-profits.
The results can be exponentially multiplied when more people use this approach.
So, tell other people – your friends and family and coworkers – what you are doing and how you are doing it.
And be sure to share this post!
Here are My Giving Tuesday Non-Profits.
Looking for places to donate? These non-profits do great work locally and nationally. I love them enough that I have put my blood, sweat and tears into running for them – or will run for them in 2018.
To memorialize little Lila Kate McAlister from Hot Springs, Arkansas, who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth and passed away from a heart condition at age 4, this foundation has an annual 5k run at Lake Catherine State Park in Arkansas.
The proceeds (Totalling over $32,000 in 2017) go to organizations that make life a little easier for special needs children and their families.
The Access Group is a school in Arkansas that provides speech, occupational and physical therapies, training and activities for children and youths with learning disabilities in a balanced classroom environment (meaning special needs and neuro-typical kids reap the benefits of sharing the same classrooms.)
The Access Group has changed my son’s life. Within 4 weeks of starting school at Access at age 2, Fritz was crawling. Shortly after that, he was walking. And now, with some cutting-edge technology, he is learning to talk.
The world’s largest human and civil rights organization for people with a Down Syndrome diagnosis. These folks are working to break the stereotypes that keep folks with a DS diagnosis from working, having careers, living independently, and having their own families.
I was just accepted to run for the 2018 NDSS Athlete Ambassador Team, so you WILL hear more about NDSS in the coming year.
I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2017 for the ADSA.
They promote and enhance the overall health and well-being of people with Down syndrome and their families through the initiatives of public awareness, lifelong resource development, community building & social networking, education & advocacy, and funding & support for Down syndrome throughout Arkansas.
The ADSN puts together a “New Parents” gift box, and when they learn of a newborn with a Down Syndrome diagnosis in Arkansas, they deliver it to the parents.
I’m going to be running for this group in early 2018, and so you will hear a LOT about them, I promise.
I love what they are doing – the books we received from the hospital in Dallas when Fritz was born were critical to Fritz’s early developmental success.
It’s founder is a military spouse, and she won the Military Spouse of the Year award for her work with the Down Syndrome Advancement Coalition.
You can read about the DSAC here, or donate on facebook by clicking here.
My understanding is that they are about to launch a website soon.
A group for us Dads of kiddos with Down Syndrome.
Once a month, we meet and plan a seasonal event for our kids. And have a few beers or, as I call it “Dad-Fuel”.
The Divots for D.A.D.S. Golf Tournament in September 2017 raised over $10,000 for Down Syndrome awareness and organizations, and in a couple weeks I am going to take you with me to the DADS Christmas party for special needs kiddos.
Said more directly: this is a group where I can find out what other parents are doing to help their kiddo with DS read by age 4, or best tactics for potty-training, or coping with the stressors of surgeries and days or weeks in the hospital.
They work to prevent gun violence by teaching teachers and students to “Know the Signs” of gun violence and speak up.
The Sandy Hook Promise Foundation is my November 2017 fundraising group, so please click here to donate and help reach my goal of raising $500 for the Sandy Hook Promise.
Its one of the only programs I know of that can actually claim to prevent Veteran Suicides.
I love this non-profit, and ran the 2016 Army Ten Miler to raise over $1000 for them.